Sunday, January 07, 2007

Making Change, conclusion

This post is the grand conclusion of a question asked by Indiana Jane, regarding the grass-roots creating of a multitude of viable political parties. (Here are all the posts: the premise, and first, second, third, and fourth in the series.) In taking this ride, I asked you several key questions about you and your friends' decisions toward homeschooling:

  • Why did homeschooling intrigue you?
  • How did you investigate?
  • What did you decide?
  • Why did you decide, even in the face of potential overwhelming majority (public) support against your decision?
  • What schooling method did you choose?
  • What curriculum selection method did you use?
  • How did you find groups to affiliate with?
  • Why did you choose the groups you did? If you could not find one, did you create one?
Now, tell me, which of these questions - variations of the five W's - does not apply to politics, and the choices you make at the voting booth?

And, the painful questions:
  • Are you pushing all homeschool parents to consolidate into one homeschool organization?
  • Are you funneling all your homeschool views through two different, major homeschooling organizations?
My guess is that you are not. In actuality, my guess is that you are working to ensure that the
distinctions between different homeschooling groups remains. (Sorry, Susan, I know things have changed a lot in the past decade.) You may gather in common on some weighty matters, but there are enough differences between groups to maintain the groups' distinctions.

Shouldn't politics work the same way? I believe it should. If homeschooling is becoming fragmented either due to practices or principles, why should it be different in politics? So, what do you do? In my opinion, I still don't have a solid answer to the question. But I think I have some solid guidelines:

1. Turn off the tv, radio and internet mainstream media sources, and all the bloggers that rely on the mainstream media. This includes Fox, Rush Limbaugh, Drudge, WorldNetDaily, and the sources for Thomas Sowell, et al, on the right, and Huffington Post, MoveOn, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, Daily KOS, et al on the left. Turn them off for at least 2-3 months. You won't die. You won't be out of the loop. You just won't be influenced by what people want you to hear.

2. Walk through the homeschool questions above, but from the political perspective. Forget about financial clout, power, and control. Think for yourself, relative to your household just like you did for homeschooling.

3. Meet with like-minded people, but forsake political labels. Political labels are inventions of the media, and channel the debate away from issues and towards consolidated power.

4. See how you can get involved in local affiliations that: a) do not support a specific party, or b) support issues that transcend the two main parties (in other words, issues that the two major parties won't touch, or are realistically on the same side of the issue). None Of The Above is a good example of this type of organization.

I hope this helps you find your place in politics.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Quipper!

It's 2007, and now after reading this I'm even more convinced than I was in 2006. Quipper in 2008, baby!

Susan said...

Quipper asks, "Shouldn't politics work the same way?"

Homeschooling groups are there for providing information and support and other VOLUNTARY activities. Government, on the other hand, has the power to throw us into jail, take our money, and remove our children from our homes. There's a lot more at risk with regard to politics than any other association.

Do I like it that I'm voting for the lesser of two evils? No. But am I willing to risk the greater evil getting into power because I want to work for small grassroots groups? I struggle with that, but I think the answer is "no."

Basically, I don't think there's any hope of saving this country politically. So I'll vote for the humongo socialists who don't think it's okay to suck babies brains out of their skulls, rather than voting for the even more humongo socialists who think that it IS okay.

I know a lot of people who are "on my side" think that I am, because of these views, part of the problem. Maybe they're right. And yet, I think the people who voted for Perot (not the people who voted for Clinton) were the ones who gave us eight years of Honest Bill.

Quipper said...

Scottius,

Um, I'm honored, but I'm also sane. I'm significantly underfunded, too.

:-)

For good political discourse, be sure to check out the BraveHumans and Infidel Blogger's Alliance links in my favorites . You won't always agree, but you'll always be enlightened.


Susan,

I hate the adage "all politics are local", but I'm coming to agree with it more each passing year. I'm not sure these nationalized elections were the best idea, as they cement the strength of the two major parties, and cause all other contenders to look as also rans before they even get started.

I also voted for the lesser of two evils for a while. The last two election cycles showed me that I really don't have two options - it just looked that way on paper - so what's the use of caring whether Dems or Reps win?

In Ohio, both the Dems and Reps cannibalize their own candidates if the "wrong" candidate is elected by voters. This is especially true during gubernatorial primaries. It convinced me that neither party really gives a hoot about Ohio - at least, not the way I do - and that a change is necessary.

Anonymous said...

You are a logical penseur, but I'm still cheering for the Gators.

Susan said...

Quipper, I'm going to assume by your comment "I'm not sure these nationalized elections are the best idea" that you would agree with me that they are, in actuality, a rather lousy way to do things.

But as for "what's the use of caring which side wins?" there are a few things that matter. Both sides are corrupted by the love of political power. Both sides have too much invested in controling the economy in a harmful way. But there are issues such as gay marriage and abortion and property rights that are worse on the one side than on the other. Not that either side has it right!

It might all look pretty futile to me. But if the whole country collapses into a tyrannical mess in 2035 instead of 2012, that's another 23 years of our "leading a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."

Think of it this way: what good was it for Ninevah to repent? Jonah knew the place was going to hell in a handbasket. And eventually it did. But when God sent them a prophet, when God postponed the temporal destruction for a few more years or decades, it was a good thing. God is busy working a revival of the preaching of repentance and the bestowal of the forgiveness of sins; He is allowing preachers to be trained properly; He is sending out prophets to call people to Himself; He is allowing this for a while before the Muslims come and make war on our turf (far beyond anything that happened on 9-11). Maybe there's not much difference between the Dems and the Reps. But the two sides have different views, and one view will lead to societal collapse sooner than the other. I'd rather have the comforts of electricity, and gas for my car, and running water, and shelves of produce at the grocery store for an extra 10 years. Likewise, I'd rather have the Gospel widely preached for that extra 10 (or 20 or 30) years before the persecutions and martyrdoms begin.

God will work for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, no matter what's happening temporally. But that doesn't mean I am okay with things getting worse faster in the temporal realm.

You don't suppose we could order-up a rapture about now? ;-)

GDAEman said...

YES! Turn off the TV.... that coming from someone who rarely watches, but received a 32" flat screen for the (politically correct) holidays.... or should that be "holidaze"?

Political Lables... in our brief exchange, I've learned to make a distinction between "conservative" and "right wing".... at least by one definition.

RIGHT WING: Power consolidated in a few hands

LEFT WING: Power spread among the people.

So, I can be "left wing" AND conservative. Conservative meaning that we are risk-averse, don't move to far too fast (unless we have to and have thought through the consequences), don't want to place debts on future generations, etc.

Much of what you say, in a general sense, reflects the same thought processes of the populist movement of the late 1800s. They avoided political party politics for a long time, because their strength came from authentic concerns that crossed party lines. (they eventually did get into party politics. First, they alligned with the Democrats, who talked their talk, but when in power didn't walk tha populist walk. Then, they started their own party. Then, they faded away, but many of their ideas came to be.)

The authority on the populist movement is Lawrence Goodwyn. There are some other prominant writers who get it very wrong, and have created misinformation about the populist movement, giving it a bad in some people's minds.

Anonymous said...

Susan,

From a guy born in Manitowoc, WI....

Yes, government has powers, but that power is supposed to be conferred from "the people." (Granted, the powerful elite generally rule things ... that doesn't have to be the case if we organize to assert ourselves).

We make the rules that determine the police powers of our government. Just look at how taxes were recently cut (granted in a way that favors the wealthy).

Keep in mind, we have some say over our government (e.g., through freedom of information requests, and other means of enforcing accountablility). We have very little say over private corporations, which are becoming as or more powerful than our government (the "privatization" thing).

The main point is to avoid falling into the trap of an "us versus them" mentality about "our government." Better to take it back than to simply reject it.

Quipper said...

GDAEman: I'll have to look at the Goodwyn site when I can make some solid viewing time. I am becoming very anti-label over a very short period of time, so, yes, the term "populist" does send shivers down my spine. I am not averse to looking at other lines of thought, though.

Anon: stop by again soon. Feel free to reveal yourself at the appropriate time, too. :-)